Laptops forum

General discussion

The future of laptop batteries

by CasperFabricius / November 8, 2007 6:15 PM PST

Hi everyone,

I think we can all agree that we could always use better and more durable batteries in our laptops, but I for one can't really find out what is happening on this front, so I thought I would ask here.

Lithium batteries seem to be the best technology for batteries currently, but what is the next big battery technology?

All batteries available to consumers seem to loose capacity after a certain amount of cycles - how could this be prevented or minimized?

Cheers,
Casper Fabricius

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They are already here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 8, 2007 10:48 PM PST

But the consumer has made it clear that lower prices are more important. You need only to see the sub 1K notebook market to see this.

Sorry, but the consumer has not shown any sign they would pay for bigger or longer lasting batteries as a stock feature. The few that will, order the battery with more cells... but that number is less than a percent point.

Bob

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Laptop batteries
by Tretch / November 10, 2007 1:02 AM PST
In reply to: They are already here.

Sorry Bob, but the consumer has also made it quite clear that batteries that with decreasing capacities over short periods of time are also not acceptable. Not when a replacement costs between a 5th to a 10th of the laptop's value. A reasonably configured LT can be bought on ebay for under USD600 and a new battery would cost you on average 60 to 100 USD.
Betavoltaic energy seemed to have been the answer at least for a while now. However, as www.betavoltaic.com shows, there's a significant amount of led necessary to isolate the emissions coming from the direct conversion of the beta electron energy into electric current.

I am still roaming the forums in hope there is a solution.

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Today there is, but only for a price.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 10, 2007 2:30 AM PST
In reply to: Laptop batteries

The better batteries are out there. Look at the Mars range rovers with what they used plus the advanced solar cells in use.

You agreed with me why you don't get such advances. The consumer won't pay.

You also are looking at fantastic prices compared to just a few years ago and I see you complain about a 60 to 100 buck battery that was double that price not long ago. I fear that you are not aware of the history and how we got here.

Bob

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Batteries are still too Expensive
by waytron / November 18, 2007 7:34 PM PST

I just don?t know, it seems to me that batteries are not keeping up with the pace of electronics in general. When you say that the price for laptop batteries has dropped, yes they have but no where near at the same rate as other electronics. When I open up a $50 VCR or a $100 TV, I wonder how in the world they can possibly build it for price. Look at how prices have dropped on USB thumb drives and memory cards. I remember a few years ago when the first 1 gig drives and cards came out, they were getting almost a $1000 for them. And now you can get a 1g memory card for $20. Consumer batteries don?t seem to have either progressed or come down in price at anywhere near the same rate as the devices that they power. I don?t know what it is but why does it seem that anything that has to do with any kind of energy?? Hum?

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Indeed
by Tretch / November 18, 2007 11:24 PM PST

Kind of energy, how to store it and how to keep the charge or keep replrenishing it without major hassle. These are the major questions that need to be answered. I think that some people out there might have already found a solution, but keeping it to themselves.
I would really like to find some alternatives, however, I am not after stealing someone else's ideas. A few guiding points would be of major help.

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Compared to what?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 18, 2007 11:38 PM PST

You seem to be new to this field, unaware of prices just a few years ago and comparing dissimilar products to the item under discussion.

-> There has been a great reduction in costs over the years but there is also a big increase in costs which I'm going to not tell you in this post. This is a test to see if you are in the know.

---> What is a fairly new cost driver in (laptop, lion, etc.) battery costs?

Bob

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Criticisms
by Tretch / November 18, 2007 11:48 PM PST
In reply to: Compared to what?

Bob, no offense, but I think we need more constructive posting here than just indicating to posters that they are not aware of current pricing or historical developments in the field of batteries.
If you have something that could help us in our search to extend laptop battery life, please speak out, if not, criticizing other people is discuraging idea and thought sharing.

Thanks,

T

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None taken.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 18, 2007 11:52 PM PST
In reply to: Criticisms

Can you answer what is keeping battery prices up?

Or if you don't know, just write so and I'll share a few items.

Bob

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Theory
by Tretch / November 19, 2007 12:03 AM PST
In reply to: None taken.

My main argument and answer in this case is current manufacturers and loss of revenue that is tied to intruducing high capacity, long-life batteries (regardless of what they are used for). You might say: Bah! Conspiracy theory. But think about it. The corporations will lose billions if they introduce such product on the market. And let me tell you, the consumer WILL pay. Even though laptops are stopping to be a luxury item now, the majority of people who own one have at least a stable economy. Given they opportunity to extend you laptop's battery life, I am sure that not only businessmen/women, but also regular people will jump on the wagon.
There are also other implications than price. Energy storage and alternative energy (non-fossil fuel generated) is the holy grail of humanity. If it is to be brought to light - government, companies and a lot of rich "********" will be out of business. Take OPEC for example - the same oil they provide is powering up to 60% of devices you and me use: car, bus, train, home electricity and anything connected to it. The truth is ugly when we see it, but most people chose not to look too much.

Hope that clarifies my perspective.

T

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Tell me what you think of these items.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 19, 2007 12:08 AM PST
In reply to: Theory

1. Increased regulation of environmental issues.
2. PATENTS (the nano-tech Toshiba battery you may want.)
3. Raw material costs (they are not going down.)
4. The consumer wants lower costs units so the battery always gets downsized to get the right price.
5. And today you do pay the lowest prices ever for laptops.

Item 5 is quite interesting since you still see people writing that the prices are far too high but they are at all time lows. What to do with these people?

Bob

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We are going away from the subject
by Tretch / November 19, 2007 12:30 AM PST

This wa not the subject of the post initially.
How do we get longer life for laptop batteries?
Ideas, solutions, thought and contructive collaboration please.
We have indulged ourselves in our opinions and beliefs for way too long Happy

If you'd like to discuss the reason why batteries are so highly prices, please open a new thred and I will tell you why none of the 5 are relevant.

Thanks,

T

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We are on a branch by Waytron.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 19, 2007 1:43 AM PST

You may want to fork a new branch.

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in the store, battery isn't a topic
by squirtlewa / November 20, 2007 2:35 AM PST
In reply to: They are already here.

I work selling laptops and computers at one of the national chain stores.

Customers don't often ask about battery life. When I ask how they're planning to use it, a large % of them are using laptop as a main desktop, not portable. Or if they are moving around with it, there's often easy access to power (at library, starbucks or car, even airplanes now). People just don't use battery all that often.

On top of that, people are pushing for bigger brighter screens (lots more 15.4" and 17" than 14" or smaller).

So everything ships with 6-cell. If you need battery life, you'll have to order 12 cell.

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Moderating
by Tretch / November 19, 2007 12:33 AM PST

By the way Casper, I've been keeping an eye on your thread, but I think you should keep an eye on it now and then as well to insure quality of postings.
Look how easily Bob and I got distracted from the topic.

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(NT) Look at the THREAD VIEW....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 19, 2007 1:43 AM PST
In reply to: Moderating
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Waytron
by Tretch / November 19, 2007 2:12 AM PST

I can't find it. Can you please post a link?

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We replied to them above...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 19, 2007 2:17 AM PST
In reply to: Waytron

"Batteries are still too Expensive - New!
by waytron"

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The whole idea of laptops is portability.
by orlbuckeye / November 19, 2007 7:38 AM PST

Which means people want to be able to compute anywhere. They want longer battery life and free wireless hotspots. I recently attended a conference in Vegas and they had an area in the Vegas airport called recharging area. At the Orlando airport I saw people looking for outlets at the gate but not one was even live. Laptops have surpassed desktops in sales and the need/want for mobility increases. This trend will continue no matter what happens in the battery industry.

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12 cell battery can help a little
by squirtlewa / December 13, 2007 9:08 AM PST

12 cell battery can help a little, but definitely need more options in travel areas. I have no trouble finding juice at my library, wi-fi cafe, etc. but is tough when traveling.

I think part of the problem is people using half-strength batteries that are also half-way worn out. Seems like it doesn't take long for 3 hr batteries to drop down below 1 hr of capacity when full. Sad

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